Henry cooks Dinner

Henry Lau is one of my dearest friends. Henry decided, most generously, to come to our kitchen last Sunday and prepare dinner for Yianni and I. His delicious meal was Chicken Ballottine with preserved lemon and harissa couscous stuffing, based on the virtual guidance of  his mentor Chef, Jacques Pépin.

Henry Lau Dinner 1

Here we are at my birthday celebration in October.

Henry Lau Dinner 2

A ballottine is a whole chicken that has been boned and stuffed. It’s rolled up and tied with kitchen string. Harissa is a North African, hot chili sauce, or spread, made from sun-dried ground peppers, garlic, cardamon, salt, coriander, and extra virgin olive oil. Couscous is a traditional North African/Berber dish of semolina (granules of durum wheat) which is cooked by steaming.

Henry Lau Dinner 3

Here’s Henry preparing his roasted veggies dish…

Henry Lau Dinner 4

of cucumbers, zucchini and celery with EVOO, lots of garlic, salt and pepper.

Henry Lau Dinner 5

This is a photo of the Chicken Ballottine, roasted to perfection, just before Henry carved it.

Henry Lau Dinner 6

Our view just before we devoured this amazing meal. [hashtag] #Delicious!!!

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Thank you Henry!!! Like the song says,
“Keep smiling, keep shining
Knowing you can always count on me [and Yianni], for sure
That’s what friends are for…”

Roast Chicken with Potatoes

5 to 6 boneless skinless chicken thighs
(I prefer hormone and antibiotic free)
1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
1 cup of water or white wine
6 to 8 small red skin potatoes cut in quarters (with peel but scrupulously cleaned)
Juice of one large lemon
One large crushed and diced garlic clove or 1 tsp garlic powder
Oregano, Basil and Salt and Pepper

Place chicken in a small roasting pan. Peel and quarter the potatoes and place in the pan around the chicken. (Sometimes I put the potatoes under the chicken.) Drizzle olive oil on chicken and potatoes.  Sprinkle with garlic, oregano, basil, salt and pepper. Pour lemon juice, water or wine all over chicken and potatoes. Bake in 350 degree oven for one hour. Baste occasionally with pan juice.